Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Celebrating Island Foxes, Bald Eagles and the Endangered Species Act

courtesy of NPS, Island Fox Recovery Group
December 28th is the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This vital legislation was implemented during President Richard Nixon's administration, along with the Migratory Bird Act, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Both political parties came together to improve the environment. Forty years later, there is much to celebrate.

Channel Island foxes were faced with extinction on four islands between 1998 and 2001. In 2004, island foxes on San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina were granted Endangered Species status resulting in additional protection and financial support for conservation efforts.

courtesy of P. Sharp, IWS, Island Fox Recovery Group
The ESA also played a vital role in protecting the bald eagle and restoring it to the Channel Island ecosystem. The interconnection between the island fox and the bald eagle meant that the survival of the island fox was dependent on the bald eagle's recovery. The role of the bald eagle on the Channel Islands.  

Protection under the ESA and conservation efforts have helped the bald eagle return from the edge of extinction. Island foxes are similarly benefiting. In less than ten years since their listing as an endangered species, island populations have shown dramatic increases and three populations have reached recovery levels. Early reports from Santa Rosa Island this fall suggest that the island fox population on Santa Rosa is now climbing toward recovery as well.

A major factor in saving the island fox has been the collaboration between government agencies, scientists, non-profit organizations and private individuals like you. Each year representatives from all of the Channel Islands, with island foxes, meet to share information and problem solve together. 

This December as we celebrate the Endangered Species Act and the success of island fox recovery, financial support to continue the annual Island Fox Recovery Group Meeting is in jeopardy. FIF knows that nothing is more important for the future of island foxes than bringing all of the people who work with the island fox together to share information. When everyone is in the same room, we save money, time and island foxes.

Help us raise $3,000 to support the annual Island Fox Recovery Group Meeting. It is a small investment, sure to reap conservation rewards. Please donate at the "Special Funding Need" donation button on the right.  

Find out more about the Endangered Species Act